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NCDPI Grant to Support Mechatronics Education Program in Henderson County

Henderson County Public Schools’ and Blue Ridge Community College’s grant request for of a total of $75,000 to enhance the Mechatronics career pathway in Henderson County has been fully funded by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

With support from the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development (HCPED), $50,000 was requested for HCPS and $25,000 was requested for BRCC to create more employment opportunities for local students in the Mechatronics field through additional student and teacher resources, program support, equipment, and student certification opportunities in the 2017-18 school year.

The grant will support a longstanding partnership among HCPS, BRCC, and HCPED, through which students have earned secondary and postsecondary credentials through coordinated curriculums, and more than 4,000 students have been introduced to advanced manufacturing through the “Made in Henderson County” program’s industry tours and presentations.
Grant funds will be used to purchase equipment to be used by both HCPS and BRCC Mechatronics students; pay for HCPS students to take the Electronics Technicians Associations certification; purchase materials and pay personnel for the 2-week "Young Engineers Camp" and "Camp Innovation" hosted by BRCC for HCPS students; support the second annual “Made in Henderson County Job Fair for Seniors” and provide a career-readiness workshop to assist students with job-seeking skills; provide stipends for HCPS teachers to participate in summer internships in local advanced manufacturing facilities to learn more about the Mechatronics pathway; provide training to industry representatives on strategies for working with Millennials; and fund a video to increase community awareness of the scope of the current Mechatronics field.

“The effort to enhance connectivity between manufacturing businesses and public school students is focused on raising the visibility of Mechatronics as a viable career path to ensure that students have diverse employment opportunities in the community, and manufacturing businesses have access to skilled, local talent,” said HCPS Director of High Schools Dr. Wendy Frye.